Due to the holidays I only have time for a quick blog, but thought I would delve into this a bit–especially since Thanksgiving is really the “Last Supper” before we went all Murder Hobo on the native Americans!
To continue with the subject of skill consolidation, I want to move on to our meta-skill “Social”. From a GM perspective social skills have always been a problem to me. Used as a blanket mechanism in the game the social skill roll can replace any real attempt at ‘role-playing’. But relying on pure role-playing can create tension between the player and GM (NPC) and force arbitrary game results.
RMU tackles a wide variety of social skills: persuasion, leadership, torture, interrogation etc. and once again I’m convinced that only 1 meta skill is really necessary here. This is the one skill that relies heavily (Ap/Ap/Pr) on the “Appearance” stat.
Brian and I both share the same philosophy when it comes to skills, less is more. Meta skills are a way of having less skills that enable your characters do more.
More is less
The more skills you have in your game the less capable the characters are. If there are only 40 skills and a character can afford to buy 10 plus some body development, weapons and perception then they have 25% of all the skill bases covered.
If you have 100 skills in your game and they can afford to buy 10 skills then the character has only 10% of all the bases covered.
Welcome to Pt. 3 of my blog on Rolemaster Skill Consolidation. In this blog series we explore the creation of “meta-skills”—broader skills that roll up lesser or secondary skills to reduce skill bloat and better skill equality across the board. You can see Pt. 1 Channeling and Pt. 2 Survival here. Both “meta-skills” and “skills as lore” allow for PCs to act within the game rules and me to focus on the narrative flow without resorting to highly technical refereeing calls. As Pete discussed in an earlier blog, I prefer meta-skills for the balance between “rolling it” (via skill bonus) and “role-playing it” via the broad scope of meta-skills.
I am spending the day travelling today. I was up at the crack of dawn to get the train to London and right now I am sat in Caffè Nero at Heathrow terminal 5 waiting for my flight to Switzerland. Initially I thought I may end up missing my Friday article this week. One the Iron Crown forum there is a discussion going on about allowing a character to change professions.
Professions are so ‘loaded’ in Rolemaster that I knew this would turn into one of those rambling threads.
Anyone reading this RolemasterBlog should be familiar with Terry K. Amthor. One of the founding members of Iron Crown Enterprises and author of Court of Ardor, Lorien and Thieves of Tharbad (to name just a few). Terry is now the principal of Eidolon Studios where he continues to publish fantastic Shadow World material. There have been detailed accounts written about I.C.E. and their history and the epic battle for M.E. licensing, so I thought it would be enjoyable to get a more personal perspective from Terry himself.
Lots of news, info and entertainment to catch up on!
Sometime during the Interregnum?
Swim-Fu, the deadly skills of the Mermen-Monk.
Emulating the Worim “longskulls”?
Another Essaence Storm—damn climate change.
Here come the Omega Droids.
Real or Surreal?
Add another useful plant to the Rolemaster herb list.
If just 1 monsters could wipe out humanity…how do we survive the “Monster Manual”?
The downfall of the Althans.
Blasts from the Past.
What is old is new again.
Lords of Essaence facilities?
Ancient underground civilizations?
The changes we made to casting mechanics for Essence and Channeling seemed obvious (to us) and were fairly straightforward, but we really struggled with the Mentalism realm. It could be argued that mentalism is the least restrictive of the realms: no armor penalties, a broad range of spell abilities and not much for casting requirements. One of our goals with Project BASiL was to increase the differentiation between realms and build some specific advantages and disadvantages for each.
Based on how we saw Mentalism working we kept the basics and then added 1 major advantage and 1 major disadvantage
This is pt. 2 of an ongoing blog segment on Rolemaster “skill consolidation. The first part on the Channeling skills can be found HERE.
While character differentiation is important, the absorption of secondary skills into primary skills caused not only skill bloat but also a huge disparity in the value of various skills. For our game, one of the most effective consolidations is the use of the “Survival” skill. Depending on the environment, the Survival skill rolls up quite a few useful, but minor, skills: foraging, fauna or flora lore, bribing, hunting, tracking, weather watching, trap/snare, fire starting, shelter building, etc. None of those skills are learned in a vacuum, but are part of a larger survival skill set. Since we use cultural skill sets for adolescence, PC’s will have several ranks of Survival skill which encompasses the environmentally appropriate sub-skills.